One is engulfed by a sense of shame when one sees politics being degraded by economics and political authority being humiliated by the business management cult. There is something pathetic when we see high officials of the current and previous governments reduced to a state of miserable loyalty; government ministers who are ready to compromise so as not to annoy or upset the multitude of markets and international monetary organisations. The current head of the Pakistan government and its finance minister, Asad Umar, just days after coming into power, appealed to the markets for a bit of time to form a cabinet and to implement an austerity program. They announced before the media that in order to implement this austerity program Pakistanis will have to make sacrifices. But we must not forget that every government in Pakistan in the past has made this plea for sacrifice to rescue its people and country from economic ruin. These appeals to make sacrifice in the name of economic stability has sentenced the whole population to a bleak future, which can be seen by the increasing rate of unemployed citizens and the decreasing access to education and other basic services. The new masters of ‘Naya Pakistan’ just like their predecessors, find themselves in grim monetary straits which might push them to go to the international monitoring agencies charged with monitoring global economic stability. Let us see how many people and institutions the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, under the banner of ‘Naya Pakistan’, is willing to sacrifice in the name of economic stability. There is only a small difference between the old and new political oligarchy. Disoriented vision of the future and the same political rhetoric is the cause behind the rising popularity of groups like Tehreek-e-Labbaik First month in the Naya Pakistan, the government resolved to sell hospitals, schools, colleges, railways and even steel mills. They raised the cost of electricity by two rupees per unit. They raised the fee for National Identity Cards from fifteen hundred rupees to twenty-four hundred rupees and the price of petrol up to ninety-six rupees. If you are lucky to be employed at all but get your salary from another bank, then instead of paying 15 rupees, you will now have to pay 24 rupees. In the name of simplicity and change the government has relieved thousands of daily wage earners from their duties. The poor who bought subsidised food, dough and sugar from utility stores will no longer be able to do so because the government is planning to close the majority of the utility stores in the country. They are also planning to privatise healthcare, and education. These measures are being implemented under the extremely misplaced slogan of change. What kind of change though? These measures are being posed as a matter of urgency dictated to us by our economic situation. All these policies are being adopted so that the rich can continue to get richer while paying fewer taxes (there has been no word on progressive taxation at all). Moreover, the workforce of various institutions can be reduced if restructuring is done on a large scale; but to what purpose so that every public institution can be privatised and can ultimately contribute to the well-being of the elites and the rich of this country instead of the poor masses. Remind me again what is new about Naya Pakistan”? One wonders, about all the celebrations and historical declarations that people were and are still making about “Naya Pakistan. Because if you look at all the people in the present government, most of them were part and parcel of previous democratic and military governments as well. Pakistan faces a political crisis because the same group of people are elected again and again under different political banners but are from the same background; and have similar economic concerns like taking loans from IMF and World Bank, the continuation of mega development projects like CPEC, privatisation of major public institutions and cuts on public and social spending like price hikes and tariffs on gas and electricity bills. What is the way out of this fatalism, then? The main challenge posed by the current financial crisis and economic catastrophe that Pakistan is facing, is that its potential victims find it almost impossible to believe that disaster is inevitable; even though they have all the information needed to determine that the worst is very likely, if not actually certain, to happen There is only a small difference between the old and new political oligarchy. Disoriented vision of the future and the same political rhetoric is the cause behind the rising popularity of groups like Tehreek-e-Labbaik. What is the way out of this fatalism, then? The main challenge posed by the current financial crisis and economic catastrophe that Pakistan is facing, is that its potential victims find it almost impossible to believe that disaster is inevitable; even though they have all the information needed to determine that the worst is very likely, if not actually certain, to happen. It is not due to the lack of knowledge that people do not act, but because of the fact that people do not turn this knowledge into belief. This is the impediment that must be overcome. However, despite all this, we can overcome this by launching a systematic critique of all the institutions; a critique that rigorously investigates the structural reasons behind the current crisis. Because it will be through a scathing critique of the existing structures that we will be able to imagine alternative ways of living, as the French Marxist philosopher, Daniel Bensaid postulated, “We are faced with a double responsibility: the transmission of a tradition threatened by conformism, and the exploration of the uncertain contours of the future”. The author is a member of the Haqooq e Khalq Movement and is currently working at LUMS as a research assistant Published in Daily Times, September 28th 2018.